Pupils from Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Cardiff have been inspired to get on their bikes, thanks to an initiative by the organisers of the inaugural Velothon Wales, Wales’s biggest ever cycling event.
Named ‘Velothon Inspires’, the event brought almost 100 schoolchildren from across South East Wales together for a programme of training sessions at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport, and was attended by Olympic gold medal cyclist Dani King MBE and Team Wales cyclists Jon Mould and Sam Harrison.
The pupils were coached in a range of cycling techniques at the Velodrome, including spinning, Cycle Speedway and mountain biking, led by Welsh Cycling coaches. Throughout the day, Dani King met with pupils to provide extra coaching tips, as well as talking about her experiences in a bid to inspire the next generation of Welsh cyclists.
The pupils who took part in the day were all presented with an exclusive certificate of participation, a medal, and a Velothon Wales t-shirt.
Dani King said, “Wales is becoming well known as a must-visit cycling destination, and Velothon Wales will help showcase it to the rest of the world. On a more local level, it’s sure to spark people’s imaginations and get them more excited about cycling – we’ve seen that first-hand with some of the children here today.
It’s really great to have something like this coming to Wales, and I hope that people will make the most of the opportunity to cheer the riders on the day!”
The primary schools who participated were Rhyd-y-penau Primary School in Cardiff, Milton Junior School in Newport, Blaenavon Heritage V C Primary School in Torfaen and Llanfoist Fawr Primary School in Abergavenny.
Gabby Dickinson, 11 years old from Rhyd y Penai school said, "The cycle speedway was my favourite activity. The day has been really good overall though, and the instructors have taught me a lot. I'm really happy that I came to the Velothon Inspires day today as I love sports, especially running and cycling!"
The ‘Velothon Inspires’ initiative marks the countdown to Velothon Wales which takes place on Sunday 14 June 2015. The closed-road event comprises a 50km and 140km route and will welcome 15,000 riders to South Wales. The route showcases some of Wales’ iconic landmarks and stunning local landscapes including the Newport Transporter Bridge, the picturesque town of Abergavenny, the famously challenging climb up The Tumble in Llanfoist and through the Unesco World Heritage Site at Blaenavon. The event will start and finish in Cardiff city centre and is expected to be cheered on by thousands of spectators.
Anne Adams-King, Chief Executive Officer of Welsh Cycling said: "The Velothon Inspires event has given nearly 100 local youngsters a wonderful opportunity to learn more about cycling from some of our expert coaches under the inspiring roof of the Velodrome, where Wales' top cyclists train. We hope that the experience will help grow their cycling abilities and build their excitement for the Velothon Wales event in June."
There are still a limited number of places available for both routes via the event’s official charity partners, including Gold Charity Partners Save the Children and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. To see the full list of places available, please click here.